2012 Full Lives Conference for Direct Service Professionals - "Curiosity, Creativity and Collaboration: The heART of Full Lives"

April 18-19, 2012 - Sheraton Anchorage Hotel

Keynote Presenters

Kara Thrasher-LivingstonKara Thrasher-Livingston has lived in Anchorage since 1993. She has been lucky to work in service to people with disabilities and their families/support teams since 1994. Kara has had many roles – a volunteer, direct service professional, program planning and supervising, and continuing education in the human services. Her educational background includes a BA in visual arts and psychology, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, 1986, and a M. Ed., Adult Education, University of Alaska, Anchorage, 2009.

Kara has a brother who experiences an intellectual disability, and 2 sons – ages 11 and 13 – who both experience autism. This means that she will always love a close family member who experiences a disability. She believes her experiences as a family member and professional in the field of disability work together to enrich her insights and her life.

Patty Mitchell and Robert LockheedPatty Mitchell and Robert Lockheed are a working artists and social entrepreneurs specializing in collaborations between artists with and without perceived disabilities. Exploring the process of making fine art has led Patty and Robert to investigate sewing, woodworking, painting, sculpture, repurposed materials and innovative approaches. The collaborations are often site specific public art works that encourage conversation, awareness and add beauty to the larger community. Product lines, designed through the artwork, deliver employment opportunities and funding streams for continued arts programming. The two consult through

Patty Mitchell and Robert Lockheed

 Norwich Consulting Services working with organizations wanting to explore collaborative arts programming or advance the work of established studios.

As an Artist in Residence Mitchell started Passion Works Studio (1996) in Athens, Ohio and developed a collaborative art making approach. Mitchell has shared this approach internationally with organizations serving people with developmental disabilities in Chile, Kosovo, Thailand and The United States. Passion Works Studio has had over a million dollars in sales, established a community gallery, store and studio and has become a model for encouraging like programming.

Mike-Paint-ToiletbrushMitchell has received a Distinguished Alumna Award from Ohio University’s College of Fine Art, Ohioana Citation for Art and Education, Individual Artist Award from the Ohio Arts Council, Citizen of the Year from Civitan and The Keystone Award from Ohio University for outstanding community service. Mitchell received her BFA and MFA from Ohio University’s Fine Art Photography program. 


Lockheed received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Mathematics from The Universityof Colorado, Denver 1997. With twenty years experience as a plumber and five as the onsite engineer, during construction of professional baseball parks, his construction skills and understanding of materials support large scale and well designed projects

Presenter Materials

Amanda Riste

Empowering Individuals for Success (PDF 1.7MB)

Art Arnold

Secondary Transition Planning focus on the Individual Education Plan (PDF 781KB)

Jerry Balistreri

Reading the Tells - Learning How to Read Body Language (PDF 5.9MB)

Krista James

Teaching & Supporting Social Interaction for Individuals with Autism & Related Disabilities (PDF 3.5MB)

Supplementary Handouts for Social Skills Training (PDF 7.3MB)

Marilyn McKay

Demystifying Dementia (PDF 1.3MB)

Patty Mitchell & Robert Lockheed

Funding/Finding the Arts (PDF 63KB)

Art vs. Crafts (PDF 60KB)

Event Data

  • 331 participants
  • 33% of participants were Direct Service Professionals

Sponsors and Supporters

Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority • Center for Human Development: UAA • Center for Psychosocial Development • Stone Soup Group • Trust Training Cooperative

Silent Auction Contributors

Donna Redding • Karla Morreira • Laurel Carnahan • Roxy Lamar • Susan Maley
Contact Full Lives

Raelynn Smith
(907) 264-6244

UAA Center for Human Development
2702 Gambell St. Suite 103
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Ph: (907) 272-8270
1 (800) 243-2199
TTY: (907) 264-6206
Fax: (907) 274-4802